Assessment of the Impact of a Meningitis/Encephalitis Panel on Hospital Length of Stay: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Meningitis and encephalitis are central nervous system infections with considerable morbidity and mortality. The BioFire® FilmArray® Meningitis/Encephalitis Panel (multiplex ME panel) can identify pathogens rapidly potentially aiding in targeted therapy and curtail antimicrobial exposure. This systematic review and meta-analysis synthesized the literature on the association between the multiplex ME panel and length of hospital stay (LOS), length of acyclovir therapy, and days with antibiotics. MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched. Only studies presenting novel data were retained. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed to assess the impact of the multiplex ME panel on outcomes. Of 169 retrieved publications, 13 met the criteria for inclusion. Patients tested with the multiplex ME panel had a reduction in the average LOS (mean difference [MD] [95% CI]: -1.20 days [-1.96, -0.44], n = 11 studies). Use of the multiplex ME panel was also associated with a reduction in the length of acyclovir therapy (MD [95% CI]: -1.14 days [-1.78, -0.50], n = 7 studies) and a nonsignificant reduction in the average number of days with antibiotics (MD [95% CI]: -1.01 days [-2.39, 0.37], n = 6 studies). The rapidity of pathogen identification contributes to an overall reduced LOS, reductions in the duration of empiric antiviral utilization, and a nonsignificant reduction in antibiotic therapy.